There are certain supplies that are guaranteed to be in high demand in the case of a global disaster. However, many survivalists struggle with prioritizing one over the other. Food, water, and shelter all fall under basic necessities- but there are other supplies that may be far more lucrative in a survival minded society, namely weapons and medication. And so the question presents itself: Guns and ammo, or pills and prescriptions?
Survival 101: Weapons vs. Medication
Weapons are always a hot topic when it comes to properly preparing for large-scale disasters since personal safety is usually a major concern. In a time of crisis, the gut reaction is to grab a gun and secure the immediate safety of you and your loved ones. Personal armament has been a cornerstone of the survivalist movement and is typically a primary response in a time of crisis. While self-protection will be essential when the safeguards of our current system (police, sheriff, or other law enforcement) fail, there’s a clear line between practicality and insanity. Unfortunately, those who base their preparatory measures on caliber and chamber are destined to fall short on the needs that firearms cannot address. “Ammo is as good as gold,” they might say, but its value is questionable, and truth be told, bullets are simply molded lumps of lead.
Those who have speculated about a bullet currency have trouble reconciling all the different calibers of bullets and corresponding guns needed to shoot them. And bartering with weapons is risky business because there’s always the potential to be killed as a result of your own actions. Granted, you could argue that with enough firepower, taking from others who have no recourse is a viable means of securing essential goods. But violence has a tendency to spawn further violence, and compounding any risk further puts your livelihood in jeopardy. Therefore, it is wise to limit your firepower to what is practical in your particular situation.
During the Hurricane Katrina disaster, a man was rescued from his home four days after the levees securing New Orleans were breached. Like others, he had decided to wait out the storm, with food, water, and supplies, along with a large enough armory to ward off the Red Army. As the waters rose, his neighbors were quickly evacuated, leaving him alone inside his fortifications. So why the rescue? He later developed chest pain after running out of his prescription heart medicine. He struggled onto the roof before the flood washed away his cache of supplies and ammunition. His survival plan fell short when he did not consider the pea-sized pills keeping his ticker in tune. The value of a comprehensive survival plan is weighted by practicality and necessity, and this man made a potentially lethal mistake by banking his survival solely on weapons, rather than medication. Sure, you have 1,000 rounds of military-grade 5.56 NATO ammunition, but do you have the 1,000 mg tablets of Metformin you need to control your type 2 diabetes? The take-home message here is that all the dollars, gold, and weapons in the world mean nothing without the medication you need to stay alive. The arsenal in your basement can certainly provide a viable defense, but it can’t protect you from pain, illness, and disease.